FORBES: OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WAS INVOLVED IN IRS TARGETING

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 5.06.23 PM

Sadly, the 18 month investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups isn’t over, and it may be worse than anyone thought. A federal judge has broken loose more emails that the DOJ had surely hoped would never surface. The picture it reveals isn’t pretty. The documents prove that Lois Lerner met with DOJ’s Election Crimes Division a month before the 2010 elections.

It has to be embarrassing to the DOJ, which may not be the most impartial one to be investigating the IRS. In fact, the DOJ withheld over 800 pages of Lerner documents citing “taxpayer privacy” and “deliberative privilege.” Yet these internal DOJ documents show Ms. Lerner was talking to DOJ officials about prosecuting tax-exempt entities (yes, criminally!) two years before the IRS conceded there was inappropriate targeting.

Ms. Lerner met with top officials from the DOJ’s Election Crimes Branch in October of 2010. Although Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the DOJ (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice, No. 14-cv-01239), the DOJ coughed up dirt only on court order. Even then, the DOJ handed over only two pages of heavily redacted emails.

What’s more, the DOJ withheld 832 pages in their entirety. They revealed that Mr. Obama’s DOJ called an October 8, 2010 meeting with the IRS “concerning 501(c)(4) issues.” On September 30, 2010, the DOJ’s Election Crimes prosecutor emailed Ms. Lerner:

“Hi Lois-It’s been a long time, and you might not remember me, I’ve taken on [REDACTED] duties. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Can we chat in advance? I’m a [REDACTED]”

Ms. Lerner responded on October 2, 2010:

“Sure-that’s a good Idea [sic]. I have a meeting out of the office Monday morning, but will try you when I get back sometime early afternoon. You can try me at 202-283-8848.”

Documents from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS show that Ms. Lerner asked the DOJ whether tax-exempt entities could be criminally prosecuted. This May 8, 2013 email by Ms. Lerner went to Nikole C. Flax, Chief of Staff to Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller, who would later be fired by President Obama:

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s–saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…”

DOJ’s Mr. Pilger admitted that DOJ officials met Ms. Lerner in October 2010. Moreover, according to congressional investigators, a Lerner email from October 5, 2010 shows the IRS sent the FBI and DOJ a “1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations” that contained confidential taxpayer information.

In her May 2013 answer to a planted question about the alleged targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Ms. Lerner suggested that the alleged targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS. In reality, there was a decrease, and as for targeting (what targeting?), well, you know the rest.

Remember those rogue IRS employees in Cincinnati? They were confused. And while all Americans should be concerned, Judicial Watch sounds fit to be tied.

“No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics,” he said. “Richard Nixon was impeached for less.”

Perhaps the latter is an overstatement. Yet it is getting harder and harder to simply accept President Obama’s ‘no smidgen of corruption’ remark made to Fox News in February, no matter how sincere and forthright his delivery.

FERGUSON PROTESTERS THREATEN TO RAPE AND KILL WIVES OF POLICE

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 11.54.48 AM

Corporate media ignores violent and racist element of Ferguson protest

According to a report posted by the Pundit Press and Fox News, Ferguson protesters are threatening family members of police in the embattled Missouri city.

The incident was witnessed by officials of the Obama Justice Department:

According to the wife of one police officer, protesters have screamed profanity at her husband and specifically threatened to rape and murder her and her family should they ever find out the officer’s name.

She said that protesters have told her husband, “we’re going to go to your house. We’re going to rape your wives then we’re going to kill them and we’re going to kill your children,” all while Department of Justice agents looked on.
The Justice Department insists police in Ferguson wear identifiable name tags. The wife of a police officer was told by a Department of Justice agent that if police are “afraid of the citizens of Ferguson, they shouldn’t be police.”

“You will never be safe, never in your life. None of you. Not you, not your children – none of you will be safe,” a protester told police last week.

The protests have turned increasingly violent and racist. Earlier this month, a white man was attacked by protesters when he complained about them blocking a public street.

In October, protest leader Ronnette Henderson promised there will be “a lot of bloodshed” if Wilson is not indicted and found guilty of killing robbery suspect Mike Brown.

The same Pundit Press report mentioned a live Ustream video where a protester urges his “brothers” to “break some cracker skulls” if Wilson is not brought up on murder charges.

Last week protesters chanted “What do we want? Darren Wilson! How do we want him? Dead” during a protest.

The corporate media continues to ignore the racist element of the Ferguson protest and frame it as a civil rights issue.

DESPITE PENTAGON OBJECTIONS, FOX NEWS WILL AIR INTERVIEW WITH SEAL WHO KILLED BIN LADEN

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 4.26.41 PM

Reports surfaced Friday that the man known as “The Shooter” could face a criminal investigation for speaking to the news media

Insiders at Fox News Channel said Friday that a two-day documentary featuring an interview with the Navy SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden will air as scheduled despite objections from the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, Fox News announced that a show called The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden hosted by Washington correspondent Peter Doocy was scheduled for Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, but on Friday the Pentagon told Business Insider that the SEALs and former SEALs who were participants do not have permission to discuss the classified 2011 mission.

The government has never identified the Navy SEALs who killed Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001, though they were profiled in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty, which was controversial for its insinuation that waterboarding was an effective tool in gathering intelligence.

Read more Inside Roger Ailes’ Fox News Suite (Photos)

The Business Insider story suggested that if Fox News were to run its documentary, the Navy SEAL featured in it could face a criminal investigation. Navy Commander Amy Derrick-Frost, a Defense Dept. spokeswoman, would not confirm whether Fox News even had the correct person who fired the fatal shot.

“The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden,” Fox News reiterated on Friday.

“Revealing his identity and speaking out publicly for the first time, the Navy SEAL, also known as ‘The Shooter,’ will share his story of training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden,” Fox News said.

USA Today’s Susan Page: Obama administration most ‘dangerous’ to media in history

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 3.29.04 PM

By Erik Wemple October 27

At some point, a compendium of condemnations against the Obama administration’s record of media transparency (actually, opacity) must be assembled. Notable quotations in this vein come from former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who said, “It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering”; New York Times reporter James Risen, who said, “I think Obama hates the press”; and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, who said, “This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.”

USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page has added a sharper edge to this set of knives. Speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, Page called the current White House not only “more restrictive” but also “more dangerous” to the press than any other in history, a clear reference to the Obama administration’s leak investigations and its naming of Fox News’s James Rosen as a possible “co-conspirator” in a violation of the Espionage Act.

The WHCA convened the event both to strategize over how to open up the byways of the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in history, as well as to compare war stories on the many ways in which it is not. Peter Baker, the veteran Washington reporter from the New York Times, provided perhaps the best instance of White House-administered madness. In covering a breaking story recently, Baker received a note from a White House handler indicating that President Obama had been briefed on the matter in question.

That information came to Baker “on background.” The gist: Not from me — a meeting has occurred..

Other gripes: Correspondents took aim at large-scale “deep background” briefings — attended by up to 40-odd reporters — at which ground rules specify no names for the officials in attendance and no quotations of anything they say. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl spoke of covering the Boston Marathon bombings. As the story developed, Karl noted that the White House wasn’t giving out any information at all. So he went around it and found out that the feds were sending their high-value interrogation team to Boston. “No way I would have gotten that out of the White House,” said Karl.

Bloomberg White House correspondent Margaret Talev noted how the White House stopped giving details on the fine wines served at state dinners, an opaque measure that she exposed in this story. In pursuing the piece, said Talev, she got the runaround from White House press officials, making her “so mad at them.” Over the course of a few weeks, she had to become, in essence, a wine correspondent.

Saturday was an appropriate moment to air such grievances. The day before, President Obama had opened the White House doors to Nina Pham, the Texas nurse who had just completed her recovery from Ebola at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to the session, the White House announced that still photographers would be allowed to document the proceedings. But print reporters and TV cameras would be out in the cold. At a briefing with White House press secretary Josh Earnest, Karl asked why. Earnest responded that “many of you did have the opportunity to see [Pham] deliver remarks at the NIH upon her departure from the hospital.”

Karl: “That’s not answering the question. Why was this decision made?”

Earnest: “Because reporters did have the opportunity to see her speak already.” Also, the press secretary said that neither President Obama nor Pham planned on making any comments at the event. Taken together, those explanations amount to a lump of nothing.

Talev said Saturday that it was “ridiculous” the White House didn’t provide full media access to the Pham-Obama meeting. In a Friday afternoon chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, recently retired ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton struggled to fathom the rationale for restricting access, given that the White House has been aggressive in sending the message that it’s fighting Ebola: “She’s been in government medical care for the last how many days?” notes Compton. “And she walks out unexpectedly looking terrific — why wouldn’t you want the world to see that the U.S. is doing what the White House has said? So today makes no sense to me.”

Yet there’s more texture to this access question. Last November, a large group of news organizations sent a letter to the White House protesting limited access for their photographers at newsworthy events involving the president. “The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases,” read the letter, in part.

One such visual press release fell into the laps of the media just last month. Obama met Sept. 16 at the White House with Ebola survivor Kent Brantly, a doctor who had contracted the virus while assisting patients in Liberia. Reporters and photographers weren’t allowed to attend that meeting, leaving news organizations with the option of running a photo from official White House photographer Pete Souza or choosing some other half-measure.

Doug Mills, a New York Times photographer who has been covering White Houses going back to the Reagan administration, says that, to the best of his recollection, the media wasn’t aware of the Brantly meeting until the White House released Souza’s photo. “Obviously we were pretty upset about it,” says Mills, though he noted that there was no firestorm over this episode. After some quiet discussions with others, Mills asked to have a chat with Earnest. “He apologized,” says Mills of Earnest. “He said, ‘We’ll do better,’ and I think that they have honestly tried to do better in every situation. … I think the relationship has gotten stronger, and I think Josh is making a lot of efforts to get us in” to events, says Mills.

Referring to the Pham photo access, Mills says, “I would say that this is a pretty good example of progress.” Christi Parsons, the WHCA’s president, tells the Erik Wemple Blog a similar story — that the White House has “increased” the number of opportunities for still photographers since last year’s protest.

The differing reactions to Pham’s appearance at the White House expose what a headache it is to run the WHCA. Radio, print, broadcast, still photographers — they all have different needs when it comes to access. One of the few things all agree on is that representatives from all media factions be allowed into everything. Which will happen at the same exact time that the government fulfills all pending FOIA requests.

There are other signs of improvement, according to Parsons. The White House is working on a weekly basis with a WHCA liaison to discuss “opportunities for more coverage,” with the result that “there have been several times when we have been able to work new coverage opportunities into the schedule,” she says. WHCA is now working on a set of “objectives” for further access to the White House, and at Saturday’s event there was a bit of fantasizing about a weekly Q&A session with the president himself.

When asked about this stuff, White House spokesman Eric Schultz issued this (on-the-record) response: “We believe in the value of transparency, and that is why we work to provide as much access as we can. That said, the press has a responsibility to always push for more access and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs.”

Pew Study: Drudge Report More Trusted Than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS

Capture

Independent media titan beats mainstream networks

by Paul Joseph Watson | October 21, 2014

A Pew Research study has found that the Drudge Report, the most pre-eminent independent media source on the web, is trusted by the American public more than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or CBS.

While the likes of MSNBC and CNN are distrusted by 22% and 20% respectively in the poll, only 9% of respondents said that they distrusted the Drudge Report, a figure on a par with NPR.

The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Huffington Post are all more distrusted than Drudge.

Drudge’s bracketing with the likes of NPR, BBC and Bloomberg suggest that the high level of trust is not merely because the respondents haven’t heard of the Drudge Report, a factor that probably explains why the likes of Think Progress and the Daily Kos appear near the bottom of the list.

The study found that Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the Glenn Beck Program were the most distrusted news sources, which is probably due to the fact that all three offer staunch conservative views likely to cause polarization amongst liberal respondents to the poll.

In general, trust in mainstream press continues to collapse, with a September 2014 Gallup poll revealing Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” returning to an all time low of 40%.

In addition, many of MSNBC’s flagship shows, such as Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show just posted some of their lowest quarterly ratings results ever, emphasizing how Americans are turning away from network media and getting their news from more varied and independent sources.

“You know there’s a problem with the media when Al-Jazeera is trusted more than NBC, CNN, and MSNBC,” remarks Zero Hedge.

View the Pew results below.

Capture
Capture

Greta Van Susteren reveals ‘weird’ WH arm-twisting to get Fox to back down on Benghazi reporting

Capture

The White House asked host to tamp down Pentagon reporter Jennifer Griffin’s investigation of the Benghazi affair

by Bizpac Review | September 7, 2014

Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren told her viewers the White House asked her to tamp down Pentagon reporter Jennifer Griffin’s investigation of the Benghazi affair, which she could only describe as “weird.”

In her “Off the Record” segment on Friday, she reviewed how Fox News has been the only major news organization to fearlessly pursue the Obama administration’s stonewalling of the September 11, 2012 attack on America’s Libyan consulate and the deaths of four brave men.

After characterizing the quest for getting information as “pulling teeth,” and the Susan Rice/Obama sideshow blaming the YouTube video for provoking the assault, Van Susteren said, “A few weeks later, when Fox news reporter Jennifer Griffin said she was told there was a stand-down order at Benghazi, I got a weird call from the Obama administration trying to pressure me to get Jennifer to back down on her report.”

“I thought the call from the Obama administration was dirty,” she concluded. “Incidentally, I don’t control my colleagues and they don’t control me.”